VANCOUVER – NORTHGATE MINERALS is making an unsolicited offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of AURIZON MINES, also of Vancouver. Aurizon shareholders will be offered 0.741 of a Northgate common share for each Aurizon common share. Northgate says its own trading price at the time of the offer makes each Aurizon share worth Cdn$3.00, which represents a 30.5% premium over the Aurizon price.
Aurizon (www.Aurizon.com) is developing the underground Casa Berardi gold mine near La Sarre, Quebec, for reopening in the last quarter of 2006. Gold output is expected to average nearly 200,000 oz a year through 2012. The company has not yet commented on Northgate’s offer.
Northgate (www.NorthgateMinerals.com) is the owner and operator of the Kemess copper-gold open pit in the north-central part of British Columbia. Currently the mill treats 52,000 tonnes of ore daily, but the Kemess North expansion project will nearly double mill throughput and create a new pit. Plans call for production of 320,000 oz of gold, 84.6 million lb of copper and 417,000 oz of silver in 2006.
A combined company would create a mid-tier gold producer with market capitalization exceeding US$1 billion, according to Northgate. Production in 2007 would be approximately 480,000 oz of gold and 84.0 million lb of copper.